November 20, 2019 Subject:
Elizabeth The Queen (ER I)
I dunno about the other episodes, but "Elizabeth The Queen" frightfully contrived and yes, thoroughly erroneous. Worse, the dialogue is in the worst tradition of pseudo Shakespeare language. It is so hokey and over-blown that it made me blush. —Absolute silly tripe that not even a young school girl could believe.
Such scripts and radio plays undermine serious academic histories because these programmes are listened to by the casual "historian", —i.e., the average bloke who has never cracked a serious history book.
It is NOT a tragedy that MOST people have not read Christopher Hibbert or Alison Weir; however, it IS a tragedy that dopey, over-the-top romantic absurd Hollywood histories are often taken for the truth when there is no veracity to be found in the script. That there was a Lord Essex (Robert Devereux) and an English queen named Elizabeth Tudor are the only historic truth that emerges from this worthless radio play. Worthless? O-kay, perhaps I go too far. The dialogue of this radio play is so dopey that it was difficult to hear the content as I was splitting my sides with laughter. Alas, the though of a second listen is too depressing to contemplate.
—A couple of serious historic errors in this script:
1] Essex was not tricked into going to Eire by Raleigh or Robert Cecil (Burghley's son). Essex was not keen on going to Eire and facing the ultra competent rebel Tyrone, but he desperately wanted to be considered a serious military general and erroneously thought that he could easily defeat Tyrone and his experienced troops. Of course, this notion was just another of Lord Essex's absurd, romantic delusions. Tyrone was one of the most accomplished military men of his era. Furthermore, Tyrone practised a modern type of guerilla warfare and was many years ahead of his time. Essex was toast before he started.
2] After loosing many men in a few minor and ill conceived skirmishes, Essex endeavoured to establish a cease-fire and peace treaty with Tyrone that delivered NO benefits to ER I or England. Worse, it appears that Essex initiated the agreement to save is own hide. This was in direct conflict with ER I's written and spoken warrant..Worse, Essex began knighting many men in the field as a means to make them faithful to him. Of course, this did not work. Plus, knighting men was simply not his privilege and angered Elizabeth almost more than his cease fire agreement. The major mistake Elizabeth made was sending an immature idiot to do a professional's job. —Unusual for Elizabeth.
3] Essex was what would be described today as extremely "bipolar". —That is, neurotic to the point of lunacy. We have several reliable first hand descriptions of the speeches he delivered to to his faithful followers in London prior to the final act of storming through the streets towards the palace. Essex lead his few hapless followers through the streets of London yelling pleas to the citizenry to join them in attacking the palace to free the Queen from her evil advisors. Not a sole joined them. As they progressed through the streets, the londoners quickly closed their shutters and turned out their lights. Essex had no talent of feeling the mood of the people.
4] Amazingly, Essex did reach the palace and worse, barged into Elizabeth's Privy Chamber! Elizabeth had just begun to dress herself when she was chilled to the bone by Essex rude, sudden invasion of her privacy. She was less than half dressed, —had no wig, makeup or clothes other than her night shirt which was half off her royal body! —I.e., "The Queen was not amused."
Elizabeth was an old women when this happened and Essex may not have recognised her. Essex was a young man in his prime and the contrast between the two must have been unsettling for Essex. Elizabeth was enraged yet also concerned as to whether Essex might not have significant troops and taken control of the palace. Essex was certainly well armed. Elizabeth immediately knew she had to conceal her true feelings and handle Essex gently.
Elizabeth kept her cool. She sensed that Essex was in a dangerous state and remained calm. She soothed him with some small talk, and gently suggested that he leave her so that she could complete her toilette. She remained calm, emerged from her Privy Chamber and further soothed Essex. The palace guard finally showed up and Essex was arrested and bundled off to The Tower, —via the Traitor's Gate.
Elizabeth kept her head throughout the entire incident. However, I cannot say the same for Essex. Essex's decapitated head was to end up on a long stick poking up from London Bridge.
5] Essex DID mean a lot to Elizabeth and this episode is blamed for increasing her mellencholy over being old and the loss of her many freinds; especially, the love of her life, Robert Dudley, —Leicester. Moreover, Elizabeth's natural mistrust of courtiers was increased.
This radio play has NO useful or factual information. The dialogue is poorly written so there is no way to assess the competence of the actors. Yea gads this is RUBBISH!!
February 16, 2017 Subject:
These are fantastic
Wow.. for one the audio (so far on the ones Ive listened to) is VERY good. I don't see dates on these, they were made in the 1940s.
"They Knew What They Wanted" Oh man- I think this plot has been re-used and re-made into tons of movies made recently- the old switcheroo where the guy sends a picture of his buddy instead of himself to some girl, she falls in love with the cute guy, not realizing she's been communicating with the not-so-cute real old guy. This Italian wine grower gets all excited over this waitress who serves him once, so he starts flirting with her by mail and sends his farm hands photo instead of his own. The girl, well she is really low class and quite common, she ends up going to the farm and seeing the handsome "Joe" thinking oh this is my guy! Well, she quickly finds out the scam.. One day she approaches "Joe" the handsome one and demands to know whether he knew of the scam or not (he says no) but she seduces him "Hold me tight Joe.. REAL tight.." the very day before her wedding to Tony, the old guy! woooOOOOooo!~ well, she gets pregnant by this Joe person. Well you just gotta hear the story its really
"The Silver Cord" emasculating overbearing mother tries to sabotage her son's new marriage.
Some of these plays are comedies, some have music some don't. These all have the best acting and voice people on the planet. You won't be sorry.
July 16, 2014 Subject:
Radio Drama at It's Finest
Theater Guild on the Air was a top quality radio drama series of famous plays and novels finely adapted for radio and superbly acted and hold up quite well today. Unlike many other "star" radio programs it's clear the cast here worked and rehearsed the script quite a bit for airtime. Adaptations include works by Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams, Edith Wharton, and Jane Austen with such great stars of stage and screen as Alfred Lunt & Lynn Fontanne (making rare radio appearances), Helen Hayes, Maurice Evans, Judith Anderson, Katharine Hepburn, Shirley Booth, Maureen Stapleton, Gene Kelly, Gene Tierney, and Gertrude Lawrence.
April 26, 2007 Subject:
A Class Act
A class act all around. The source is Broadway plays for the most part, which makes it a little more literate than the film adaptations that were so popular. (The material is very much of its era, so don't expect stuff quite as detailed or subtle as, say, a literary adaptation).
This is worth downloading for a preview, then finding a vendor to get you the whole set.